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Finnish model 40

Article about: Here is my m40 made by Värtsilä company. I just got this yesrday. Nice original Värtsilä-decal, little surface rust spots here and there, otherwise very nice and unmolested. Enjoy and give m

  1. #11


    Well, I'm interested! Enough to ask if anyone who really knows can tell me what are the absolute certain signs of a genuine Wartsila helmet. Its always possible that the little red decal (or is a a label or a sticker - I have never seen one in the steel) can be erased by accident or design - is the real significant mark the size number followed by a W stamped on the rim? And does that specific mark exist only on the M40 and not the M62?

    Also, as I understand it, the original issue had a simple two piece leather strap with no chincup - is that correct?

    I find it hard to believe that so many were dumped after WW2 - particularly when the Finns continued using remaining stocks of German helmets (and bought more postwar, come to that). I can't believe they deliberately destoyed their own design helmet (OK, Swedish design helmet, but you see what I mean. made in Finland anyway and still a good design.)

    I have a couple of what I believe to be Finnish shells, the later M62, though one may be a actual Swedish M37 type, both with much later liners and straps. The UN-blue obscures any possible sight of any stamping unless I start scraping it off the rim edges. I've had a bit of a struggle understanding these helmets for some time - I wouldn't be totally surprised to find they were both Swedish, though I did buy them from a man in Finland!

    Finnish model 40 Finnish model 40

    Finnish model 40 Finnish model 40

    Finnish model 40 Finnish model 40

    I must admit I borrowed the image of the interior of the first helmet from Joseba's website as I don't seem have a pic of my own on file. Its also worth noting that the rivet heads showing on the sides are actually different on each helmets - the first has four apparently flat but actually slightly rounded rivets fore and aft, with definately rounded - and smaller - rivets for the chinstrap, where the second helmet has six identical larger flatter rivets plus one different (same size but more obviously round headed) for the third leg of the three-point chinstrap.
    Last edited by Greg Pickersgill; 10-30-2014 at 03:42 PM.

  2. #12


    The UN helmet looks to be a Finnish m62 helmet you find two models of chin strap the single webbing strap and the other model as shown on the empty shell photo , the original issue M40 had a simple two piece leather strap with chincup as shown in the first photo but most of the time the cup bit is missing where its been damaged

  3. #13


    I, too, am frustrated regarding getting a straight answer as to how to differentiate the two models. This is even after attempting to translate Stig Roudasmaa's book on Finnish helmets. In July, I bought a Wartsila (not cheap!) that has the black and red manufacturer's sticker and is stamped "72W" on the rim. The old-style liner is clearly a postwar replacement as it is pristine. Yet I cannot discover whether an M62 shell looks identical to a WWII M40 or not. Help!

  4. #14


    I found these on web-page, images numbered 87917 and 87918. Very nice close-ups, no idea if this is Swedish 37 or Finnish 40 thou..
    Images are cropped by me.
    Finnish model 40Finnish model 40

  5. #15


    I think the shells M40 and M62 both look the same as the Wartsila factory made both helmet shells and the only differet part is the way the liner is fitted , i have also seen some ww2 Wartsila shells with maker label used post war with the m62 liners fitted so some of these helmet were used after the war and in post war photos you see the same large mix of helmets being worn as you see in wartime photos

  6. #16


    This is just fiendishly difficult really; it ought to be easy to identify and attribute a type of helmet that was used in its tens (hundreds?) of thousands for decades. yet it is not. And we live in the world where one could have a metre-long shelf of books all about German Third Reich helmets. Good grief.

    Anyway, Jack's mention above of Roudasmaa's TERASKYPARA reminded me to get out my copy. Jack, I am sure you're right and there's more solid info in the Finnish text than the abbreviated English-language notes. because the English notes aren;t that helpful! (That being said its a useful little booklet and I recommend it) Anyway anyway, Roudasmaa (who as a Finn may be assumed to be more reliable than any of the other helmet books, so we'll ignore them for the moment) has it that regarding my two helmets shown above the first type of liner - the inverted U - iis a locally made and designed Finnish product, designated J53, fitted to the M62. This was later superceded by imported liners (Schuberth I608) which are those in my second helmet. This seems simple, doesn't it.

    Until you look at pictures of what are claimed to be Swedish M37s with the same kinds of liners. Groo. Examples of these willl be found on the Pottia website, pottakokoelma - helmet collection , run by Finnish collector Markku Karvonen (who might be assumed to know what he's doing). Markku also writes here -, Finnish helmet depot liners "Finnish m/62 helmet with a I/608 type liner, similar to the J/53-Schweden liner used in Swedish helmets. In 1971 100 000 liners were ordered from German company Schubert-Werke Kg. Between 1977-1983 I/608 liners were made by the Finnish company Eine Grönroos Oy and after that also by Olkainvalmiste Oy."

    Markku also makes a very interesting point which might lead to eyestran and frustration - comparing the swedish and Finnish made M37 shells he says - "M/62 is almost identical to it's Swedish example.
    In Finnish m/62 the profile is not as ball-shaped, it is more gently sloping on front and steeper in the back. The difference is difficult to see by eye. " I have spent more time than is rasonable staring if my two @Finish' shells and I am now almost certain one of them is more round than the other, as Markku claims. I believe, but cannot prove, that the shell with the inverted U liner has more vertical sides. All this leads me to believe that shell is Finnish manufacture and the other Swedish. Of course that doesn't make any difference in terms of them being used in the Finnish forces.

    I suppose if it was all easy it wouldn;t be so much fun. This could run and run. I need a rest now, to gather my strength to find and compare&contrast a dozen Austrian helmets.

  7. #17


    Also the Swedish helmets shell are only size stamped as the W stamped with helmet shell size on Finnish helmets means Wartsila made

  8. #18


    Thanks, gentlemen, for all the good discussion. That being said, I am still unclear as to whether the Finnish M62 was identically marked as the Finnish M40, i.e., a size stamp with a 'W' on the rim and the black and red Wartsila label/sticker inside???? If the newer ones were so marked, how in the devil do you discern a rare WWII era Wartsila shell from a postwar (much less valuable) Wartsila shell? My gray hair is even grayer (and I haven't even begun my insane plan to type a entire Polish helmet book into Google Translate)!

  9. #19


    Well, Jack, I share your pain. If I am understanding this right then there is actually *no difference* between the actual steel shell of an M40 and an M62, and the only sure identifier is the red Warsila label (decal?) in the bowl of the helmet. The M62 does have a completely different liner and chinstrap rig of course, so that's pretty clear, but there may be no apparent barrier to anyone fitting the leather liner and chinstrap from a Swedish M37 and faking a Wartsila label. With an apparent period repaint who could tell? I dunno. Not me, probably. Anyway, I'm never going to pay the Silly Money required for an 'genuine' M40 unless Mr Lottery he come soon. I've got enough problems trying to distinguish between the M62 and the later Swedish M37 family....

    I guess that's the Jacek Kijak book you're referring to; if you have any specific queries I know a couple of very helpful Polish collectors who may be able to help you out. My own Polish is about as bad as my Finnish, which is a bit of a thing because one of my other enthusiasms is Polish jazz...can't read the bloody sleevenotes!

  10. #20


    Thank you, Greg, that is the very book. I'll let you know whether my hair simply falls out from the translating effort. Regarding the Wartsila helmet, such is the nature of helmet collecting. Some just leave you wondering if you have been fooled, the seller has been fooled, or you actually have the real thing. Sigh.

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